A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper

A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper
Ever wonder what its like to share your world with a bunch of crazy critters? Tune in to find out!

Friday, August 31, 2012

August - Month in Review

Holy hell - how is it the last day of August?  This was a really whacky month for the humans and in turn that bled over to the critters.  The main impact to them was the flood repairs - we have done that ALL month - ugh.  We are in the home stretch now thank goodness.

The stress level in our household this month was off the charts - the flood, the loss of our dear friend, my husbands ever growing business and the crazy demands of that and my changing roles at my company made for much anxiety and angst.  I am relieved that things appear to be heading back to normal.  The critters too - they are so intuitive...sticking close and trying to make things better.  I love them for that.

Healthwise this month was great - Clooney and Zoey - the two I was concerned about are both doing so amazing.  Clooney is gaining weight and his energy level is high.  Zoey is frisky and crazy and happy - I love it.  My other babies are doing well too - it's all good over here!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Clean carpets

The carpet cleaners came today.  Two very nice guys who cleaned the guest room and the living room - the two rooms impacted by the flood.  The also did the steps and the entry rug for such a nominal amount that I couldn't pass up having them do it while they were here.

All in all I am quite happy - for carpet that is 7 years old downstairs and 15 years old upstairs it cleaned up pretty well.  8 critters can do lots of untoward things to carpet.  In our someday house they will have their own space with no access to carpet of any kind.

All critters had to be in lockdown today - the door had to stay open for the tubes from the carpet cleaning van.  Madison made her jail break by crawling under the door to the craft room - she was the center of attention for a moment before she got put in the bonus room where she was unable to escape.  Luckily it didn't take them long so confinement was short and sweet.

As for flood repair progress - we are done with the exception of the shower walls.  It will be so nice to have this whole process over with!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Average Days

So today was just an average day in the life of the critters - it looks something like this:

3:00 am - I get up and move downstairs - hubs is still working and on a Skype call - ah the life of a small biz owner - I have Phoebe, Oliver, Zoey, Aggie, Madison and Emma in tow.  Nigel is running on his wheel.
4:00 am - after finally dozing off - Madison visits me on the couch and gives me kisses - ugh - nice ferret
6:45 am - I am awake watching hurricane Issac coverage - hubs has an important early meeting so upstairs we go - Emma, Phoebe, Zoey, Oliver all follow
7:45 am - hubs heads out and I get up - ferrets playing at my feet.  Downstairs we go - stick for Clooney, Ferretone for Maddie, canned food for the kitties, outside for Emma and then a treat
8:00 am - everyone done eating and now settled in for a long day of work
11:00 am - Emma outside for a break
12:00 pm - Emma barking at UPS man
2:30 pm - painters come to finish master bath, Emma barks like a maniac, Clooney comes in to help - too bad I am trying to talk on a conference call - sigh
3:00 pm - Maddie comes up for a visit, Emma out for a break
more sleeping all afternoon - ah the life of a critter
now its around 7:00 pm and everyone is lounging.  Emma just got a bone so she is happy.
Tonight Nigel will get his worms as a snack before bed
Just a regular day in the life of the critters...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Frisky Miss Zoey

My supposedly sickly kitty is a frisky little Miss....it does make me happy!!  A few days ago I posted about her being naughty - today she played with my dad for a good bit of time chasing a ribbon.  She is galloping through the house, leaping on the furniture and investigating any workers who happen to be here for flood repairs.

I can only conclude that she is happy and feeling good.  I weighed her today and she is firmly stuck at 13 pounds and has been for months.  This is a great thing.  All in all I am very pleased with how she is doing.  My 2 critters I was worrying about - Clooney and Zoey are both doing great.

On a side note - Emma got a hair cut today - we have decided we will most likely never let her hair grow back to its full length so she went in to get reshaved, bathed and generally primped and polished.  Doggie spa day.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday progress....

We are finally making some progress today - we had the tile guys in to finish grouting, the reconstruction guy came by to put the door on that covers the motor for the jetted tub and the plumber came to hook up the shower faucet and shower head as well as the master bath toilet.  We are getting pretty close to done in the master bath - just measuring for, ordering and installing the shower walls and door and painting.  Then we will shampoo the carpet in the guest room and the living room and we will be done with this flood nightmare.

Today critters were on lock down again - Clooney so wanted to help with grouting but the tile people were not amused.  Back into lockdown he went.  Then Madison wanted to help reattach the door on the bathtub - back into lockdown she went.  Oliver has decided he is scared of strangers this week....cripes.  Zoey and Nigel slept through the whole day.  Aggie and Phoebe hid as usual and Emma barked and then greeted each person.  All in all the critters are faring okay - I will be glad when this is over.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Little Bit of Everyone...

Well - they were a bit more cooperative this morning - I was able to get at least one shot of everyone.  More of some of the regular posers....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Clooney, Phoebe and Ollie

There are days when my little critters are just not cooperative when it comes to taking pictures.  Today - Aggie wasn't having it, Zoey wasn't interested, Emma hid under the bed, Maddie couldn't be found and Nigel was grumpy.  So - there you have it.  I did manage to get one of Clooney, Phoebe and Ollie....

Friday, August 24, 2012


Well - it's Friday - I was hoping we would be done with flood repairs but alas, no.  Tomorrow bright and early they are coming to finish the tile.  Monday the plumber comes to put in the master bath toilet and shower fixture.  Monday they measure for the shower walls.  Cripes...  then sometime next week we will have painters and carpet shampooers.  It feels never ending.

I will say that the critters have enjoyed the break - three days this week with no one in the house.  I think this has been tough on all of them - well - except Nigel who is oblivious.  He is just a happy hedgehog.  Unfortunately Saturday will mean being cooped up for the ferrets.  The only saving grace is that the hubs will be home so maybe all of them can hang out together in the bonus room together.  The kitties are less impacted as Ollie and Zoey will be content in the garage and Phoebe and Aggie will hide somewhere.  Emma will be in the middle of it all - but she may be content to hang out with the hubs as well as she is a total daddy's girl.

All in all - critters are doing pretty well.  Clooney was quite playful today which makes me happy.  Kitties are all lazing on the bed - Emma is considering hiding under the bed as it is threatening to rain.  Nigel is snoozing in his cage and Maddie is sleeping somewhere.  I still have the crud but am getting better slowly but surely.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chubby Clooney

The hubs officially called Clooney chubby today.  I guess my efforts to fatten him up have worked.  He lost a couple of ounces with the ECE virus he had several months ago and his weight has been stubborn to come back to 2 pounds.  I attribute the success to multiple rawhide sticks per day and crappy cat food.  They seem to have done the trick.  I would much rather have him a little chubby than the boney version we were dealing with a few months ago.

He seems happy and healthy and into everything - including the giant bucket of grout that the tile guys were working with the other day.  All four paws and a belly covered in gray grout.  UGH.  He and Madison seem to be interacting more - it depends on the day as to whether its playing or squabbling.

All in all I am quite happy with his level of health.  I weighed him today and he is 1 pound 15 and a half ounces - we are very close to 2 pound goal!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crud - I got it

Well poo - I officially have the crud of some sort.  I think with the large amount of stressful stuff that has been going on in our world its not surprising....

So - no cuddles or interactions with Clooney or Madison.  Even though they say he can't get human germs - I try to steer clear of Nigel as well.  Kitties have been sticking pretty close.  They are in no danger.  And I can't pass my germs to Miss Emma either - so at least I get some critter kisses.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Moment of Remembrance

I rarely post about non critter related things but today is not just a regular day.  This morning we lost a dear friend and amazing colleague.  He was someone who I have known for 13 years and my husband for 15.

He was a kind person with a yearning to teach and mentor others.  He was an intelligent man who was patient and always willing to help.  He was strong in his convictions and while we didn't agree on every one of them you have to admire someone who believes in things and can articulate why they feel the way they feel.  Some might call him quirky or stubborn - I think both made him an interesting person to interact with.  I will miss our political debates and our get togethers at each other's houses.  I will never drink a white russian, or consume a chicken wing without a smile remembering my friend.  He was an animal lover and always very kind to my critters which puts him at the top of my list of favorites.  He was the bravest person I know...

He has a wonderful wife who we love dearly and will support how ever we can.  He has an amazing brother who I had the opportunity to meet just a few days ago and who I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with.  Our thoughts are with all of them at this time.  The world lost a great person today and for that I am sad.  He was a great man who impacted my life in a positive way and for that I am grateful.

Rest in peace my dear friend.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Chaos

Sunday may have been slow and happy.  Monday, not so much.  Wow - do I have some UNHAPPY kids at the moment.  The tile guys are in doing their thing and the bathroom is a disaster zone.  The door to the motor for the jet tub is off and the box that is covering the drain where the toilet would normally be is moved so there is a perfect ferret sized hole in the floor.  For these reasons - the ferrets are in lockdown.  Madison is pissed.  She slept for a good part of the day but now its time to be up and going and she is stuck.  I had her in the bonus room - moved her into the same room with Clooney thinking that might make her happy - um - no I hear her scratching at the door as I type.

Kitties - they are unhappy too.  Oliver and Zoey were in the garage - they were okay with it for a time but once late afternoon rolled around - they weren't having it any longer.  They came back inside but were quite uncooperative about staying out the of way so now they are in the bonus room.  Phoebe and Agatha are both freaked out by strangers so they are hiding somewhere.  Emma has been munching on drywall all day and getting in trouble for it - ugh.  She likes to be in the middle of things as well.

And then there is Nigel - sleeping on the cat tree - not a care in the world.  You could blow the house up and he wouldn't get alarmed I am convinced.

As for the human inhabitants - seriously - O V E R  I T!!  Just this week to get through.....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Slow and Rainy Critter Sunday

We were gone for a good bit of the day yesterday.  Critters hate that...so today they have stuck pretty close.  Emma has been hanging out - spending a part of the day under the bed hiding from the rain.  Kitties are all on the bed with us and have been for a good part of the day.  Nigel was hanging out with us for the afternoon and I then I got a burst of energy and cleaned out his cage.  He has fresh litter, water and food and a clean blanket - which makes for a very happy hedgehog.  The little ferrets are both doing great.  Clooney has had a particularly active day playing and hanging out with us - love it.  Maddie is her happy self as well.  All in all - it was a slow and easy rainy Sunday - its nice to have those sometimes...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Naughty Noisy Kitty

Today was no good for sleeping in - thats for sure.  First Miss Madison came up on the bed at 3 am and proceeded to curl up and go to sleep - this was okay as I was awake and then went back to sleep.  Then Zoey decided to be the naughty kitty making all kinds of noise.

She found plastic bags to lay on and lick on, she kicked things off the dresser, she screeched at Oliver and then she came up on the bed with motor running.  She woke me at 4:40, 5:15 and 6:45.  UGH!  So she got in trouble - multiple times - yelled at, kicked off the bed and finally evicted out of the bedroom.

Wanna know a secret?  I was irritated at the kitty and she got in trouble but secretly it makes me happy that she is full of spunk.  It makes me feel good that she feels good...

Friday, August 17, 2012

General Updates

Its sort of the middle of the month give or take so how about a general update on how the critters are doing?  Emma is busy helping the workers when they come, hiding under the bed every afternoon during the summer thunderstorm season and in general seems to be doing pretty well.

As for kitties - Oliver is his same old ornery self.  Thankfully he loves the garage so in the mornings I have been letting him out there where he takes up residency on the hubs' car roof.  He is safely out there and not plotting his escape with the workers using the door 758 times.  Zoey enjoys the garage as well - although she has no desire to escape - she knows when she has a good thing going.  Phoebe and Aggie are in a pretty good place - they have banded together, cowering in the closet together while scary people make scary noises in the house.  While they certainly don't love each other, it does seem as though the squabbling has decreased a bit.

Ferrets - they have completely lost interest in the whole flood affair.  No matter who enters or how much noise they make neither of them are interested in getting up to investigate.  They are enjoying snacking on the really cruddy cat food - Friskies Grill Blend or something close to that.  They got into a box I had from an emergency convenience store stop last year.  They have been porking out.  I am happy to let them have it as I am trying to fatten Clooney up.  Keeping the rest of the critters out is a challenge.

Nigel - he is doing great.  He is oblivious to the flood, the people, the noise.  He couldn't care less.  Nigel likes people food - I try not to give him too much but I did share my pizza with him the other day.  I am sure all hedgehogs eat Pizza Hut in the wilds of Africa....  He likes crust, cheese, black olives, and sausage.  He is not a fan, however, of mushrooms.  He kind of reminds me of Tom Hanks in Big - when he scrapes the caviar off his tongue.  Not loving the fungi...

So - there you have it - a mid month, end of summer update....

Thursday, August 16, 2012

We have floors....

Progress - we keep making progress.  The guys came today and put the new carpet pad in and re-stretched the carpet in the living room.  They put in new pad and re-seamed the carpet in the guest room and they put new vinyl in the master bathroom.

Kitties were uninterested, ferrets did not stir, Emma was not fond of the air gun they used to nail down the under lament.  It took less than an hour for them to finish.

Bad news - no master bathroom toilet til the plumber comes to re-seat it.  UGH.

I think tomorrow is a day of no workers.  Monday the tile guys come, Wednesday the painters are back in the bathroom and Thursday they shampoo the living room and the guest room carpet.  So, so ready to have this over with - as are the critters.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tired Critters

I am confident when I say that the critters have reached the point of no longer thinking that the flood repairs are fun and exciting.  Everyone is outta whack - sleep schedules, feeding schedules, lounging around laying in the sun schedules - its all been disrupted.

Today the painters were here.  The ferrets didn't even care.  They were both so tired they sacked out in the closet and didn't even stir.  Emma is over having people in and out.  Phoebe and Agatha are over hiding from strangers and Oliver and Zoey are over having to be in the garage when they don't want to in order to prevent an escape out the front door.  Just for the record - the humans are over it too.....

Tomorrow - flooring.  Monday - tile, Wednesday - paint the bathroom and Thursday - shampoo carpet.  Then we will be D O N E done!  Thank goodness.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pouty Madison

The little critter just doesn't understand that not everyone on the planet finds her charming and cute.  We had the painters in today to prep the wall after flood repair.  They were not so enchanted with the little helper.  So into the bedroom with Emma she went - not a happy critter.  She scratched at the door, pouted, even tried to squish herself under - to no avail.  Finally she curled up in the dresser drawer and went to sleep.

She has been so spoiled the last couple of weeks - everyone so far has loved the little critters and they have played and "assisted" with repairs.  She will be sad to know that the same guys are coming back tomorrow as well - they will actually paint the downstairs wall, ceiling and upstairs guest room wall.

Monday, August 13, 2012

25 Random Thoughts

I have been inspired by several of the blogs I read who are doing the 25 Random Thoughts posts.  So - here goes:

1.  The critters are enjoying flood repair WAY more than I am
2.  It makes me happy when I catch Phoebe sleeping on her back with her back feet poked straight out like a person.  It makes me think she is happy and secure.
3.  Madison is the most joyful creature I have encountered.  I should learn from her...
4.  I love it when Nigel nuzzles my neck - he is so sweet
5.  Oliver is overly affectionate at times but I wouldn't change it for the world
6.  I secretly freak out when I can't find the ferrets - my mind goes to bad places like they got outside or are somewhere dangerous that I can't get to them - its totally irrational
7.  Clooney is gaining weight - hooray - I didn't like his more bony physique
8.  I think Zoey is okay but there are days when I really worry about her and wonder how long she will be with me
9.  I have to vacuum 4 times a week - ugh
10.  If I had it my way we would get a girl hedgehog named Simone and 2 ferrets - one from Clooney's lineage and one from Madison's
11.  I am lucky to have my husband - he keeps me from being the crazy critter lady
12.  I totally miss having the aquariums - but I don't miss the work they entail
13.  Agatha has decided that she loves people food - she will eat almost any kind these days
14.  Phoebe and Oliver are best friends - I love that
15.  Oliver is friends with pretty much everyone - he likes to torment Aggie but other than that he is Mr Popularity
16.  Madison and Clooney were playing under the drywaller's tarp today - playing together like real friends - there is hope for them yet
17.  Nigel runs on his wheel at night and the noise it makes is one of my favorite sounds
18.  I would stop in traffic to save a critter - even a snake
19.  Emma likes to watch the AKC on tv - and commercials with dogs - she is funny
20.  I wish the kitties were less noisy when they bathe themselves
21.  I wish they all had thumbs - just think - they could scoop their own boxes, open cat food, get me stuff - it would totally rock
22.  I love having the critters no matter how much work it is - and with 8 - there is some work involved
23.  I miss Isabel - even though its been 2+ years
24.  I will be happy when we build a house that has a critter wing - they will have an awesome space to call their own and will not have access to other parts of the house which means no critter cleanup
25.  I am so happy my "kids" are mine - what would I do without them?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Feisty Zoey

I love it when my Zoey cat is feisty!  After all she should have been gone around April according to the six month prognosis for kitties with intestinal issues.  Since such time - she has thrived so I am fairly confident that she is a pretty healthy cat.

This morning she came up on the bed with us.  I was getting in some cuddle time with the hubs but Zoey was having none of that.  She took up residency on my back and proceeded to "attack" whenever a hand came her way.  Quite entertaining.  She is the purrer of the family - purrs all the time - so all of this happens with the motor running full speed.

Its nice to see her feeling good and playing.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I have to say my guys are pretty in tune with the humans in the house.  With the flood and some other challenges the stress level is pretty high these last few days.  The critters have been sticking pretty close.  They follow me around, hang out with me in whatever room and I am in and they give me lots of cuddles and kisses.  I have to say, it's not possible to be sad with ferrets in your life.  They are simply too funny and full of antics - those two always bring me a smile.  I am so thankful to have them around to cheer me up and make me laugh.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Critter Christmas....

Last night I finished up the handmade ornaments of each of the critters.  Wow - it took longer than I thought it would but I am happy with how they turned out.  So - lets start with the back - I didn't photograph the back of each - just the one with Ollie so you can see what they look like.  Just a simple photo to give the back a finished look.

Okay - here are the kitty ornaments:




And - although she is no longer with us - she always will have a spot in our hearts and on our tree.  I made one for Isabel:

Here is Miss Emma's:

And the ferret's:



And last but certainly not least - Mr Nigel Hedgehog:

These were fun to make!  

Thursday, August 09, 2012


My eldest ferret boy seems to be doing pretty darn well these days.  His weight isn't quite where I want it but it is holding very steady - he weighs 1 pound 13 and 5/8 ounces.  I would love for him to top the scales at an even 2 pounds.  But I will say there is nothing wrong with his appetite.  He is always raring to go in the mornings wanting his stick and his ferretone.  In an effort to put on some poundage I am giving him multiple sticks each day which he is loving.

He has been very interactive lately - greeting all the folks who have been in the house for the flood repairs, hanging out with his humans in the mornings and the evenings and playing with Oliver and Madison.  Here are just a couple of snaps from today: